Taking temp job can bring many pitfalls

RE “TAKE charge of your career, don’t get left behind” (On the Hot Seat, Money & Careers, Jan. 13): Staffing professionals regularly promote the idea of taking a temp job. But I can think of a few reasons why one should exercise caution.

The temp position may not end when you expect it to, leaving you in an ongoing position without benefits. If you had previously been on unemployment, and you try to end the assignment when it’s supposed to end, you will technically have quit, thus becoming ineligible to collect. If you are on MassHealth, this can wreak havoc with your benefits.

The staffing agency may have oversold your skills to the client in the first place, leaving you in an awkward position. You may not be the first temp in the position, and your co-workers may not wish to work with you, as you are only there for the short term.


The position may not be as advertised in terms of the work you are expected to do. You may find yourself treated as a second-class citizen, left off distribution lists, out of meetings, and off e-mails, making your job difficult, if not impossible, to do.

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If you work in a different state from where you live, you may have tax withheld in two states.

The staffing agency's interest is to keep the money rolling in, so you may not get much help from them if you experience any of these problems.

In other words, it’s all of the downside of a difficult job situation with none of the upside.

H. O’Donnell